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Old Mar 9, 2004, 11:48 PM   #1
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Default Tamron SP 28-75 2.8 XR Di for D70?

I always thought I knew what I wanted - and that was the D70 with the kit lens when I head over to Asia in less than a month. Just recently I've been made aware of this Tamron lens and I'm thinking - could this be a good everyday alternative lens to the kit lens? (If I could get the D70 body and Tamron lens for approx. the same price as the D70 kit, I would seriously consider it).

Anybody used this lens? Any opinions?

I don't pre-judge 3rd party lens makers as some people tend to do, as I believe the build quality of consumer Nikkor glass as of late isn't much better than competing brands. For my needs, it'll be an all rounder - possibly complimented by a tele-zoom in the 70-200 range or similar when my funds recover from the D70 purchase.

I know I'll miss a bit wideangle compared to the 18-70 DX, but I've been used to my cheapie fixed focus 36mm equivalent digicam for the past year, and don't forsee needing to go much wider than that. Then there's always "footzoom".

The main attraction of the Tamron for me is the F/2.8 constant fast aperture over the zoom range. The equivalent Nikkor would cost 3x as much. I don't wanna spend too much money, as I won't be making a living out of photography, but the lens would need to be more or less a lifetime investment - or at least serve me for a decade to come. I've read reasonably good reviews of the lens, but am wondering if it's a good alternative to the DX18-70 kit lens.

Is the faster lens worth it on a digital? Couldn't I overcome low light situations by increasing ISO on the D70? Given that it by all accounts to date the D70 performs well noise-wise at high ISO? And I've read max aperture on most lenses are unusably soft so is the advantage eroded there?

Any other issues that should be investigated that I have overlooked?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 2:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tamron SP 28-75 2.8 XR Di for D70?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx
Just recently I've been made aware of this Tamron lens and I'm thinking - could this be a good everyday alternative lens to the kit lens? (If I could get the D70 body and Tamron lens for approx. the same price as the D70 kit, I would seriously consider it).
This Tamron becomes a 42-112.5 on the D70. Unless you completely do not need any wide angle or are willing to buy a second wide angle zoom such as the Sigma 12-15 or the older 15-30, you do not have any wide angle capability with this lens. Of course, whether it is a problem totally depends on your shooting style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx
I don't pre-judge 3rd party lens makers as some people tend to do, as I believe the build quality of consumer Nikkor glass as of late isn't much better than competing brands. For my needs, it'll be an all rounder - possibly complimented by a tele-zoom in the 70-200 range or similar when my funds recover from the D70 purchase.
Nikon as well as other companies have good lower end lenses and very poor ones. Again, as mentioned above, this Tamron may not be a good choice IF you need the wide angle end. If you are building a system, the first thing is to make sure all focal lengths you use frequently will be covered in a very convenient way. This means the following: which focal length you use most frequently? Then, get a good lens for this range. Hence, please answer this question: would the focal length of 42-112.5 be your most frequently used range? If the answer is a YES, then go get one. Otherwise, you will end up buying more lenses and change lenses frequently.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx
I know I'll miss a bit wideangle compared to the 18-70 DX, but I've been used to my cheapie fixed focus 36mm equivalent digicam for the past year, and don't forsee needing to go much wider than that. Then there's always "footzoom".
No, you don't miss just a bit wideangle. You will miss a lot. In the wide angle end, missing just a few mm would make a big difference. The 18-70 becomes 27-105, which one of the most popular focal length for general purpose shooting. Frankly, if you have a wide angle lens, you will use it. So, I believe what you said about "don't forsee needing to go much wide" may be to optimistic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx
The main attraction of the Tamron for me is the F/2.8 constant fast aperture over the zoom range. The equivalent Nikkor would cost 3x as much. I don't wanna spend too much money, as I won't be making a living out of photography, but the lens would need to be more or less a lifetime investment - or at least serve me for a decade to come. I've read reasonably good reviews of the lens, but am wondering if it's a good alternative to the DX18-70 kit lens.
In terms of optical quality, the Tamron will certainly be better than the Nikon 18-70. Whether the Tamron would be a good alternative, again, depends on your shooting style. The 28-70 range is excellent for film; but, may not be convenient for digital (because it is a 42-112 lens on a Nikon digital body). Convenience vs quality is always your call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx
Is the faster lens worth it on a digital? Couldn't I overcome low light situations by increasing ISO on the D70? Given that it by all accounts to date the D70 performs well noise-wise at high ISO? And I've read max aperture on most lenses are unusably soft so is the advantage eroded there?
A faster lens is always good to film and digital. Increasing ISO adds noise to the image. The question is if you can accept it. Some people can tolerate some level of noise and some cannot. The D70, like the D100, has its lowest ISO at 200. You can boost the ISO to about 400 without much problem. I personally cannot stand the noise above 400.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx
Any other issues that should be investigated that I have overlooked?
I believe you may want to evaluate your shooting style before buying. If you choose the 28-70, you will perhaps end up three lenses, one below 70, one 28-70 and one for > 200. On the other hand, if you choose the 18-70 as a starter, you perhaps only need two lenses: 18-70 and above 70. Or, you may consider the 24-120VR and a Sigma 12-14. again, it is your call because only yourself can determine which set of lenses would fit your shooting style better.

CK
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 8:30 AM   #3
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Thank you shene for your comprehensive reply.

Part of the problem for me is, as I've mentioned I've only ever used the digicam I currently have which has a fixed focal length, so I've had to make do with it. I've constantly lamented the need for a longer zoom, but don't recall and don't yet know if I would require a wider angle - and as you've mentioned I may be optimistically dismissing the need for wide angle. I honestly can't anticipate my 'shooting style', because I don't think I've picked one up yet and will be developing it with the purchase of the D70. (Incidently I'm also looking for a life, and I've searched all of Ebay and came up with nothing...)

Thanks again for your post, it's given me some points to ponder.
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 5:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx
and as you've mentioned I may be optimistically dismissing the need for wide angle.
One more option. I believe you may also consider the AFS 24-85G. No, it is not a F2.8, but it is a very lens. See here: http://www.adorama.com/NK2485AFGU.html
You may find a good used one on eBay for a little more than $300.

CK
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 10:43 PM   #5
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Boosting ISO will not help in achieving focus in low light, that is a function of the autofocus sensor, and a faster lens is the only thing that can help, asides from a AF assist light of some sort (remember, some lenses are big enough to block the in-camera AF light assist).
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Old Mar 11, 2004, 7:07 PM   #6
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onyx. I just picked up a Tamron SP AF 28~75mm XR Di LD Lens model A09. I have allways been a Nikon Glass fan, But this lens was so reasonable B&H $319 I had to try it, The AF is fast on it and although a little noisy (the motor) I would recomend it and with the 6 year warranty I think it is a good buy It Is nice and Sharp, and of course 2.8f. Since getting it I have not used My Nikon AF-S 24~85 3.5~4.5 G lens. Good Luck...
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Old Mar 11, 2004, 10:37 PM   #7
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Pics pics pics... cowboy43?
I'd love to see some taken with the A09, especially wide open in low light (which is the whole attraction of F/2.8 IMO).
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Old Mar 11, 2004, 10:53 PM   #8
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Ok no problem, I am working on some now of Macro work, f2.8 and very low light... Will post tomarrow when completed...
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Old Mar 14, 2004, 7:03 PM   #9
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Onyx, Sorry It took so long to post but I have been very busy, anyway. I took this shot of charlie just before heading to a shoot... No PS work, Hand held, No Flash, Natural light only, f2.8 1/160 ISO 800 75mm, I was sitting at my Desk getting everything ready to go, and there was the shot ... Unpack Camera... Set.... Shoot... So I hope this helps you decide... That day I shot a Parade our Fire Dept was in and was happy with the lens performance... Good Luck...
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Old Mar 14, 2004, 10:17 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks cowboy. I think the image is more a testiment to your photographic skills than anything else.
I really like it, and I'm not normally a cat person!

It's a little bit soft as expected, but perhaps not more so than the Nikkor kit lens (yet to be rigourously tested/reviewed).

Can anyone else comment?
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